There are multiple variants of the MSX2 8-bit computer the one that I currently have in my possession is the Panasonic A1 Personal Computer FS-A1.
If you want a full list of MSX computers you might as well check out the computer fandom page for the list.
In this article, I want to cover the cool things about the MSX2 and what are some of the actually good games and hardware you need with the system. Of course, if you wanted to experience some of the MSX software you could always check out an emulator, but what is the fun in that? Below we will cover some of the most asked questions about the MSX2.
What is the MSX Game system or computer?
MSX supposedly stands for Microsoct Extended. To sum up what Information I’ve read about the MSX. Japan wanted to market a computer designed for home. Currently at the time of the MSX development there was no computer computers. Microsoft’s very own Bill Gates helped computer developver companies like Phillips, Sony, Pananosic, and etc. Standarize their computers so that all the software would work on all of them if they wished to make a computer.
The MSX runs Microsoft Basic and MS DOS 1.1
The BEST MSX2 Computer
Since there are a billion variants it seems like of the MSX2 the common question which MSX2 should you get.
This is going to be somewhat of an open ended question cause theres really not a 1 size fits all but the Sony Hit-Bit F1XD checks all the marks for me. It comes with a floppy drive, internal power, and it really is the most appeasing to me.
Which is why I’ve order one and going to exchange it and sell my FS-A1. There’s nothing wrong with the FS-A1 that I own but it doesn’t have a floppy, and I had to order the power adapter separately. I also don’t find it as aesthetically pleasing as the Sony HB-F1XD
Since I do own this variant of the MSX2 I want to provide some of the technical specifications of the 8 bit computer.
- CPU: 8-bit Zilog Z80A running at 3.58 MHz
- RAM: 64 KB built-in, expandable up to 512 KB
- ROM: 32 KB built-in, containing MSX BASIC and system BIOS
- Video display processor: Yamaha V9938, capable of displaying up to 512 colors and resolutions of up to 512×424 pixels
- Audio processor: Yamaha YM2413 FM synthesis sound chip, capable of producing 9 channels of sound
- Storage: Built-in 720 KB 3.5″ floppy disk drive, optional external SCSI interface for additional storage devices
- Expansion slots: Two cartridge slots (compatible with MSX, MSX2, and MSX2+ cartridges), two expansion slots for additional peripherals
- Ports: Two joystick ports, two MIDI ports, one RS-232C serial port, one parallel port, one RGB video output, one composite video output, one audio output
- Operating system: MSX-DOS 2.20
- Power supply: AC 100V, 50/60 Hz
The Panasonic FS-A1 was popular for gaming and running productivity activities and was released in Japan in 1986.
Emulating the MSX2
Not everyone wants to buy/import a Japanese MSX2. I really cannot blame you, retro hardware is getting more expensive, its not practical, and if you are anything like me. You already have a Modern Gaming Desktop/Laptop.
So what’s the next best thing. You saw a game on the MSX that you are dying to play.
Good thing that Emulators exist just for about anything, and the MSX is no different.
BlueMSX is quite possible the best emulator when it comes to emulating the MSX. I say MSX and not MSX2 because it does both. You can use it to play just about anything.
Get Bluemsx Emulator off their official website so you know it is legit and safe. No on ever charges for Emulation expect for like pro version on Android devices.
You can also just go to the live version of the Emulator by visiting https://bluemsx.com you just need the rom file you are wanting to play.
As it is illegal to directly send you roms with links or whatever as Google will flag this blog. Your best bet is to search for MSX roms over on archive.org.
MSX2 vs NES
When it comes to old-school gaming, lots of people compare the MSX2 and NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). The NES was a powerhouse gaming console in united states and is one of the most popular systems ever created. The MSX2 was a computer you could have at home, and it had cool features and lots of different games.
Some people liked the MSX2 because it was more technical and attracted tech-savvy people, but the NES won the hearts of many with its easy-to-play games and memorable characters.
If we look closer at the MSX2 and NES, we can see what makes them different. The MSX2 let people do more with it because they could customize the hardware and make their own software. This made a community of creative people who loved to develop new things.
On the other hand, the NES was all about simple and fun gaming. It had easy controls and a collection of games that were carefully chosen. The MSX2 had more advanced graphics and cool features, while the NES was all about providing a fun and reliable gaming experience for everyone.
When comparing the MSX2 and NES, it’s interesting to note the contrasting game libraries and exclusive titles that each system offered.
The MSX2 boasted a diverse range of software, including popular titles like “Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake” and “Gradius 2,” which showcased the system’s technical prowess and captivating gameplay.
On the other hand, the NES captured the imagination of gamers worldwide with iconic games such as “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Mega Man,” laying the foundation for beloved franchises that have endured to this day.
Both systems had their standout games that left a lasting impact on the gaming landscape, offering unique experiences and shaping the preferences of gamers around the world.
The Famicom (Japanese NES) did have attachments, floppy drives, keyboards and even a way to program games with Basic. So the NES is not so much different than the MSX2 whenever you trace it back to its beginnings.
Must Play Video Games on the MSX2
This list will provide the game name and a brief description of each must-play video games on the MSX2 8-Bit computer system.
Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake
Become a master of stealth in this legendary action-adventure game. Join Solid Snake on a high-stakes mission, infiltrate enemy territories, and outwit your adversaries to complete thrilling missions.
Take control of a powerful spaceship in this challenging side-scrolling shooter. Battle through space, confront colossal bosses, and upgrade your arsenal to save the galaxy from imminent destruction.
Embark on a gothic adventure as Simon Belmont, a vampire hunter destined to defeat Dracula. Wield your legendary whip, traverse treacherous landscapes, and battle hordes of monstrous creatures.
I do want to make a video and go more in-depth with this game. This is one of the games that got me interested in the MSX to begin with. Vampire Killer is Castlevania on the NES but it is so different, and it plays more like the Metroidvanias we are use to, today.
Nemesis 3: The Eve of Destruction
Engage in heart-pounding shoot ’em up action as you pilot an advanced spacecraft. Navigate visually stunning environments, dodge enemy fire, and protect the universe from imminent peril.
King’s Valley II
Embark on a thrilling treasure-hunting journey in this captivating puzzle-platformer. Guide Vicktor through perilous tombs, solve intricate puzzles, and collect precious gems before time runs out.
Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter
Immerse yourself in an enchanting action RPG adventure as Adol Christin. Explore ancient ruins, battle fearsome monsters, and uncover the secrets of the mythical land of Ys.
Experience intense shoot ’em up action in this visually stunning game. Command a formidable spacecraft, decimate waves of enemies, and conquer colossal bosses in a high-octane battle for survival.
The Maze of Galious
Embark on a captivating platform-adventure as you search for ancient treasures. Navigate intricate mazes, battle enemies, and solve challenging puzzles in your quest for glory.
Golvellius: Valley of Doom
Join Kelesis, a valiant warrior, on a heroic journey to save Princess Rena. Explore a vast world, combat menacing monsters, and unravel the mysteries of the Valley of Doom in this action-packed adventure.
Prepare for a unique isometric shoot ’em up experience. Guide a fearless knight through perilous dungeons, overcome challenging obstacles, and vanquish formidable foes in an epic quest for glory.
Eventually I plan on making videos to go into each section of each of these games so you can see the MSX2 Gameplay and perhaps a little more info in the videos as you scroll by.
I’m really enjoying the MSX2 I also miss the fact that all computers where kinda unqiue back in the day. Everything just looks the same anymore. I know we can all build our big powerful desktops and I love that too. But, it is something about retro computers that is just awesome.
All these different companies made these amazing computers then its like when IBM came around all computers started to look the same.
The MSX2 had standards on what hardware was inside but you could tell each company added it’s own flair to the design.
This article will be updated quite frequently over the rest of 2023. Be sure to check back as I add more videos covering gameplay and talking about the MSX2.
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